Greenleaf represent the umpteenth testimony of the existence of a mysterious gene that many decades ago spread in the countries of Northern Europe and that has allowed the people of these cold lands to develop an innate and incredible talent for rock music. The band created by Dozer‘s guitarist Tommi Holappa belongs in fact to that large group of talented formations from Scandinavia that have gained attention of fans and critics for good and catchy rock, spanning from the punk of Turbonegro up to the black’n’roll of Kvelertak. In a panorama that’s so rich and varied, Greenleaf have conquered a prominent place among the best representatives of Swedish stoner rock and the band consolidated through the years a special recipe of music that is spontaneous and lighthearted but always enjoyable and fascinating.
Greenleaf’s last release, named Hear the Rivers, is the seventh LP in their career and shows that these rockers, on the eve of twenty years of activity, didn’t lose the spirit and the joy of playing that was always one of the most relevant characteristics of the band.
I say “band”, but never as in this case I should treat it as a “musical project” given the fact that because of the many changes in the line-up, today Holappa is the only member of Greenleaf that played on all the seven LPs, and the only remaining member of the initial formation. By the way, regardless of how we want to tag it, what’s sure is that Greenleaf’s music has always represented a breath of fresh air in a scene that has seen too many bands lose the spontaneity and immediacy that one would expect from stoner rock. Hear the rivers confirms once again that there are still many catchy riffs to be played and many melodies to be invented by simply remaining in the perimeter of classic rock. When you launch this record on your stereo, don’t look for astonishing innovations or genre-bending sperimentations. What you’ll get here is a collection of solid stoner songs, with a genuine “rock” feeling that’s the result of good vibes, passion and an honest and clean production in the recording studio, without too many tricks or artificial embellishments.
The album flows fluid and energetic between a few songs that are destined to become new classics of the band (We Are the Pawns and Let It Out, just to mention a few) and other tracks that are maybe slightly less exciting but still absolutely enjoyable to listen. Heavy riffs, intriguing solos, incessant drums, solid bass lines and nice lyrics compose a musical offer that’s powerful and engaging as it’s accessible and catchy. That’s music which has the capacity to satisfy the longterm fans of stoner but also good for everyone approaching this genre of rock for the first time.
Hear the Rivers can be streamed from Spotify.
Standout tracks: We Are the Pawns, Let It Out, The Rumble and the Weight, and High Fever.
Greenleaf are featured in DUST AND SAND, the playlist with the best of new stoner rock and stoner metal. Check it out!